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At the heart of this system is a small UFO-like Unmanned Aerial Vehicle equipped with a wireless broadband connection, cameras, and lasers for a targetable retinal-scanning display (and gyroscopes for stabilization, of course).
At the basic
level, this is a telepresence system that allows the user to virtually fly around any environment and see it in 3D.
In order to interact with humans, the user selects the "target" of the interaction and the system activates the retinal scanning display to cause the target to see the controller of the system (see link).
Eye-contact is achieved by two cameras that telescope down from the UAV to position themselves where the "virtual" eyes being projected to the target are.
The advantages of the system are that
1) This is as close to a free-floating hologram as you can get with a compact device (i.e., the 'target' would see a life-size projection of the user underneath the UAV)
2) It does not require the target to own any equipment or do anything but interact with the user, the way he would with a real person.
The disadvantage is that it would be usable only with one "target" person (unless we had multiple retinal scanning systems on the device). It should also be possible for more than one Avatar to be interactin g with the same person.
Retinal Scannning Display
The device described in this entry would require this system to be extended to something that could target the viewer remotely [cowtamer, Jul 14 2007]
How a VRD works
[cowtamer, Jul 14 2007]
Similar Idea, minus the interaction [cowtamer, Jul 14 2007]
The Nomad Personal Display
Another VRD system. This should be modifiable to "target" a user using existing targeting/tracking technology instead of having the user wear it [cowtamer, Jul 14 2007]
||I kind of assumed a microphone and a speaker on the UAV.
||Perhaps this should be in its own idea, but a retinal-scanning display should be able to paint a picture in the viewer's retina that is larger than the display device itself--in the same way an HMD produces the feeling of "immersion" even though it is quite small. All you have to do is make sure both retinas are covered, and that the viewer's head/eyes are tracked and the movements adjusted for [perhaps by moving the projector] Granted, the technology to do this without the user wearing anything would have to be developed.
||Can't really comment on the idea itself, (beyond me I'm afraid), but I can tell you that the fifth letter from last in your idea has an extra space that doesn't belong there,and that you have an account that needs reclaiming [cowtamer]...or not.
||Two issues I see. First your target is going to see your avatar zoom by at the minimum speed of the UAV. I think the slowest of them still stall at around 50kph. Even if you could cut that by an order of magnitude (which I really doubt the rules of aerodynamics would allow), your avatar would still be walking by at a brisk pace.
||And second, this only works if the target is another real person. You cannot contact another user of this system.
||[Galbinus] Helicopter-based UAV?
||Helicopter based? I have not heard of such a thing, but that might work. Well except for the danger of removing the heads of everyone nearby.
||There are UAVs in production that can hover (I'll have to search for them later, but I remember seeing one at an AIAA show being shown by a defense contractor)